The folks over at Kogan Page generously provided us with an excerpt from Sandra Zoratti and Lee Gallagher’s book Precision Marketing: Maximizing Revenue Through Relevance. Zoratti is an author and speaker, as well as the Vice President of Marketing, Executive Briefings and Education at Ricoh and manages a business created from former IBM and Ricoh companies located in Boulder, Colorado. She was named the recipient of the 2012 Business Marketer of the Year Award by the Business Marketing Association.
Praised by such marketing heavy-hitters as David Meerman Scott and Jeffrey Hayzlett, Zoratti’s book Precision Marketing was crafted to “help other marketers deliver consistent, measurable results with rock solid ROI.”
But how to do that when customers are deluged with marketing messages, so many that there is obvious backlash? Zoratti and Gallagher say the answer is “relevance.”
Read the excerpted Introduction below to learn more how you can meet the new marketing challenges and get back to engaging with your customers.
Why Relevance is Relevant
There’s a backlash underway in today’s economy. Consumers are in control. They are making it clear that they are tired of being deluged by a flood of irrelevant advertisements and marketing messages. Overwhelmed by ad fatigue and messaging mayhem, they are responding with digital video recorders to skip over unwanted commercials, using spam blockers to eliminate irrelevant e-mail and putting themselves on do-not-call lists to silence the endlessly ringing phone. They are even unsubscribing from e-mail lists that they once opted into as a connection to their companies of choice.
Years ago, a 1978 study by Yankelovich found that the average American was confronted with more than 2,000 advertising messages per day. When the study was revisited in 2007, Yankelovich found that the number had soared to more than 5,000 messages per day. Estimates from a study published in 2010 put the number at 16,000 advertisements per day.
Here are a few more stats to consider:
While 64% of consumers say promotional offers dominate both the e-mail and traditional mail they receive, only 41% view these as must-read communications.
Of the 91% of consumers who opt out or unsubscribe from e-mails, 46% are driven to brand defection because the messages are simply not relevant.
Forty-one per cent of consumers say they would consider ending a brand relationship owing to irrelevant promotions, and an additional 22% say they would definitely defect from the brand due to irrelevance.
Some 58% of vendors’ marketing content is not relevant to potential buyers and reduces vendors’ chances of closing a sale by 45%, according to a survey of IT buyers by the International Data Group.
Consumers, apparently, have had enough and they are taking action. Power, as a result, is shifting. The customer is in control and knows it.
While product suppliers and mass marketers may have controlled the flow of communication in the past, consumers have started setting the terms under which conversations and interactions take place. Consumers are voting with their money and their attention. Every time they program the digital video recorder, opt out of an e-mail list or block a phone call, they are expressing their right to ignore the messages they find irrelevant. What’s more, the influence of today’s empowered consumers is spreading through social networks. By voicing opinions online with friends, family and the global internet community, consumers are – almost effortlessly and exponentially – influencing and defining the perception of a brand. Consumer conversations – not marketing messages – increasingly determine what gets attention and what gets ignored.
Confronting the power shift
Given these trends, companies run the risk of seeing returns on their marketing investments steadily dwindle.
How do you engage consumers who are flat-out ignoring you? How do you confront today’s buyer backlash? How do you attract new customers, strengthen relationships with existing ones and deliver an impressive return on your marketing investment? How, in other words, do you drive profitable growth in today’s attention-starved economy?
The answers lie in one deceptively simple word: relevance.
The Relevance Requirement
The more compelling, valuable and relevant you make your messages and offers, the more impactful the messages become – and the more likely it is that your prospective and existing customers will respond. As you present your brand in increasingly relevant ways, you drive increases in revenue, response and, ultimately, return on investment (ROI).
Relevance, in other words, is now a requirement for marketing success. Yet marketers continue to lag in acting upon the urgent need to align market¬ing and messaging to be relevant to their customers. When this is the case, marketers are putting their companies – and their jobs – in jeopardy. They are pursuing obsolete marketing approaches even as the outcomes associated with those approaches are clearly in decline.
The Power of Precision Marketing
Precision Marketing gives marketers the insights into customer behaviors that let them talk with customers in a relevant manner. The Precision Marketing framework relies heavily on several key factors, the first of which is the collection and analysis of data. Marketers are no longer in a position where they can randomly create interesting advertising campaigns; they must be aware of their customers and talk directly to them or risk driving them away. Marketers must create actionable customer insights to accomplish this objective. Collecting the customer data that give marketers the information they need to build strategies framed on customer insights is imperative to enable this objective. Data enable actionable insights.
Marketers cannot produce compelling messages in a vacuum. Rather, they must now employ customer insights to ensure that their communications are aligned with the preferences and priorities of their customers. Marketers must also learn to integrate their messages within an overall mix of channels – a mix that encompasses everything from direct mail to social media to mobile communication.
So why aren’t more marketers implementing Precision Marketing today?
The first challenge is collecting the correct data. Approximately 70% of marketers gather only demographic and location data, which is not enough. Today’s critical insights must be drawn from such factors as customer preferences and behaviors.
The second challenge is to act on the customer data that has been collected. Some marketers today may be collecting voluminous amounts of data, but they are often not aggregating and analysing that data to generate actionable insights.
The third challenge is execution and measuring results in order to test predictions. Marketers must utilize highly relevant messaging and offers aligned to target customer segments. In addition, they must measure who converted, who did not, and, most importantly, why.
Precision Marketing is about using data-driven insights to deliver the right message, to the right person, at the right time, via the right channel(s).
The approach we present in this book will enable you to achieve far more with and from your existing resources. By moving in the data-driven direction, you’ll be taking steps that will engage your customers and enhance your marketing results. This is the future – and the future is now.